Home » Homeschooling/Child-Led Learning » Not Wanting To Go To School

Not Wanting To Go To School

Teela collecting “flowers” for me.

About half the time my youngest daughter goes to school she tells me she is sick and can’t go.  I struggle to push her out the door. I believe in homeschooling, more importantly I don’t believe in our current public school philosophy, and feel Teela needs a different way to learn.  My husband does not believe in homeschooling and because of this we scoot her onto the school bus with much manipulation.

Teela and I have a unique relationship.  We are very intertwined emotionally and biologically.  We even have our bowl movements at the same time every day.  This has its good and bad points.  It makes it hard for us to seperate and I am definately someone who needs time to herself to settle and be grounded.  If I am a parent all day without even an hour to reflect on life or sit and meditate I get very irritable and can fall into a depression.

Teela at the Saskatoon Forestry Farm.

Teela is a very demanding child for me.  She needs me to do everything with her.  I thought part of this was due to her being here, on this farm in rural Saskatchewan, basically in isolation.  I assumed Teela was bored and looking for some companionship.  Putting her in the pre-K program would help her be less dependant on me and I would find time to do the researching and writing that I want to do.    So at the age of 2 (almost 3) years of age we popped her on the school bus with her two older sisters and sent her off to pre-Kindergarden this year.  While I had a hard time with it the self part of me was looking forward to a few hours to work in the morning.

Teela is very bright and it turned out to be a good thing.  Every day I pick her up she says, “It was the best day ever!”  Well every day until recently.  It has kind of simmered down recently but she does still say it.  She seems to enjoy going but there is part of me that feels she would be happy to be home with me yet.

If she is home with me all day I worry that I will fall into a mental state not conducive to her yet I feel that there has to be a balance.  She is a very dependant child and I struggle with that.  But I love her so awfully much.  Being home every day together should not limit us from finding time alone to do what exploring we need to do for ourselves, right?  Nothing is every black or white; right or wrong; all or nothing? She shouldn’t have to go to school just because I struggle to find time to myself when she is home with me all day.  Surely we should be able to find a balance.

I am the type of person that needs a plan.  I can deviate from the plan but I need one to refer back to.  I really believe in unschooling but I need some structure to the day.  I have occasionally made a list of things Teela and I could do during the day and it helped, but I am not consistent with it.

I recently discovered the Oak Meadows curriculum for homeschooling.  I think I am going to purchase their two manuals The Heart of Learning and Learning Processes as a guide to developing a routine for Teela and I.  We will practice homeschooling/unschooling this summer.  See if we can prevent ourselves from driving each other crazy. Her always needing me and me trying to find time alone.  Maybe we can find our happy medium.  My hope is that I can give her some of me and she will feel satisfied resulting in me finding moments for myself throughout the day.  Maybe it is lofty but it is worth a shot.  Perhaps we will find another path once we step onto this one.

If we can find a rhythm and daddy can see that she is learning and I am not going crazy, then maybe she can stay home with me.  Just maybe.

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8 thoughts on “Not Wanting To Go To School

  1. I have been homeschooling for two years now and though we are always nearby to each other we are able to find alone time too. Harder with the little ones but it is doable.

    You mentioned sisters, would they also come home or just the littlest? If Teela had he sisters around she might be more inclined to spend some time with them exploring the farm while you have time to meditate.

    Sounds like the real issue is getting your dh onboard with the idea of home/unschooling. Might I suggest that you start off working toward the homeschooling plan and then slowly move toward the unschooling. Oak Meadow is an accredited school(though American) so perhaps the first step is getting him to try out that. Good luck in this journey and move your dh along gently.

    • Thank you for your encouragement. Teela’s sisters are older. Emily is almost 15 and we just finished our first year of unschooling and it went really well. I just submitted my report yesterday and I feel she did more from January to June than she did in a year of public school. September to December was us trying to figure out how to do this homeschooling business so not much was accomplished although more than I expected.

      I also have a 17 year old. She is going to stay in public school for one more year and graduate. I thought of pulling her out but she did not want to. So, I let her make that decision.

      I spoke with my husband last night as we are going to try combining the two systems. I don’t know if I can ever convince him to just do the homeschooling/unschooling route but I will do with Teela what I can. I am glad he is willing for us to purchase the curriculum from Oak Meadows. I will use it as a guide kind of thing.

      Now I am going to check out your blog!

  2. Have you tried, a bit late in the term now I know, schooling one day off and one day on or only Mon-Thu? I have friends here, with their kids in private schools, so they are paying for their kids to go everyday, who do this because they don’t think it’s right for their kids to go 5 days a week. I also know a Mum who has periodically homeschooled her daughters (now aged 15 and 17) – taken them out one year to homeschool, back a year or two more – because she feels they get stressed out year after year in school. The unschooling summer experiment will be interesting. My son was incredibly demanding when he was younger, only recently became less so, and I wanted a break when he went to school too. But I felt so much worse with him there (although he hated school so that didn’t help) than having the time to myself. Teela will get more independent, so homeschooling would get easier but it’s hard to say when! Good luck! Keep us posted please!

    • I am sorry for it taking me so long to respond. I really love this idea of combining the two systems. I never thought about it for myself for some strange reason. I am going to give it a try. I guess I have occasionally set the intention to do some child-led learning on days she had off from school but never thought to do it every day cause I thought it would be too much for her. Life and learning go hand in hand so it may not be too much for her if I make a conscious intention to do it everyday she has off from school or in the afternoons. I have to entertain her and I somehow:) I am glad my husband is receptive to this idea as well.

      I agree with what you say about your feelings sending your son off to school. That is how I feel with Teela. I want her to go for my own time but otherwise I do not.

      Thank you very much for the advice!

  3. I just stumbled across your blog and had to reply! I have a 6 year old daughter whom we have just pulled from school to begin unschooling. It sounds like we are a very similar situation (even in Saskatchewan! :) ) in terms of our relationship dynamics. She needs me A LOT and as much as I need her too, I also need time for me. I do believe it will be a huge learning process for both of us and it will require effort but I believe it can be done!
    Good for you for searching for a way to do things that satisfies yours and your child’s heart! <3

  4. Hi. I know this is an old post but I am looking into Oak Meadows for my daughters and a friend came across your blog in an internet search. How did it go? Did you like OM? We live in SK too and have been homeschooling for 3 years. I am looking for something new and I think OM might be it but really want to hear from some who are using it too. Thanks.

    • Hello Rhonda, My apologies for the slow reply. I only ended up getting the two learning manuals. They seemed amazing to me. The spoke to me in a way that just fit. I tell everyone that those two books were the best parenting books I ever bought.
      It led me to wanting to know more about Waldorf curriculum. As I read more and more about it I wanted to be around like-minded moms. I put an add on kijiji to meet other parents who were passionate about Waldorf. This lead to me meeting many women, many of who want a Waldorf school in Saskatoon. Now I host a facebook page https://www.facebook.com/WaldorfCommunitySaskatoon.
      A group of six are in the very beginning stages of starting a school, we host playgroups, and various other activities for parents. If you are in the Saskatoon area please come out to one of our events.
      While I do not own any OM curriculum because I cheeped out at the last minute, I have regretted it ever since. I hope to purchase the kindergarden curriculum this summer. I have bought some other curriculum that is authentic Waldorf but it isn’t laid out as easily for me. I hope this lengthy reply meets you well:)

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